October 9, 2014
How good has Belle Gallantey been in 2014? Put simply, awfully good. Her victories include a pair of blow-out wins in the G1 Delaware H. and G1 Beldame Invitational, the first over Princess of Sylmar, the second over Stopchargingmaria. She’s banked over $850,000 on the year, pushing her career earnings to a cool $1.1 million. And with a possible tilt at the G1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff in the cards, Belle Gallantey’s season isn’t over yet.
Though the progressive Belle Gallantey has enjoyed a break-out year at five, she was always meant to be a good one. Belle Gallantey hails from the premier racing and breeding operation of Pam and Marty Wygod. Bred by the Wygods, she was produced by the stakes-quality Old Trieste mare Revealed, a talented runner in California for the John Shirreffs barn. Revealed won first out in maiden special company at Santa Anita, and added three wins in allowance/optional claiming company at Santa Anita and Hollywood. Her victories included a NW3X win over GSW Charm the Giant (Ire) going 1 1/16 miles at Hollywood in 1:40 4/5.
Revealed was produced by Field of Vision, a $400,000 Deputy Minister yearling and a daughter of the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly and the six-time Grade 1 winner Meadow Star.
Belle Gallantey was by the Wygods’ outstanding Storm Cat runner After Market, who himself excelled as an older horse, winning 4 of his 6 graded wins as a 4-year-old, including victories in the G1 Charlie Whittingham and the G1 Eddie Read for Shirreffs.
Like her sire, Belle Gallantey has improved with age. But that isn’t to say she didn’t show ability as a youngster. She was stakes placed as a juvenile, and won at Santa Anita and Aqueduct at three. During a busy 4-year-old campaign, however, she blossomed on the tough New York circuit, finishing first or second in 7 of 14 starts. Her victories included a six-furlong allowance score at Belmont in 1:10 1/5.
Trainer Rudy Rodriguez and her connections began to stretch her out for the 2014 season, and as they did, Belle Gallantey got better and better. She drew off by 6 1/2 lengths in a two-turn Aqueduct allowance in January. She then doubled up in a similar effort next out, winning by 2 1/4 while earning a 95 Beyer. The margin was 3 1/2 lengths when she beat Antipathy at Belmont in May, a win that gained luster when that rival came back to run third, beaten a neck by winner Close Hatches and in front of champion Beholder, in the G1 Ogden Phipps S. Antipathy later won the G3 Shuvee H.
Belle Gallantey was herself a close-up fifth in the Ogden Phipps after traffic trouble, but she showed in her next she indeed belonged amongst the elite fillies in country. The second betting choice in the G1 Delaware H. at a mile and a quarter, Belle Gallantey was put on the front by jockey Jose Ortiz and cruised along while shadowed by Flashy American. In behind was the daunting presence of an Oaks winner in Princess of Sylmar.
Princess of Sylmar rallied to within 3/4 lengths of Belle Gallantey in upper stretch, but the latter had another gear, leveling out with long, fluid strides to win over the four-time Grade 1 winner by 2 3/4 lengths.
Belle Gallantey’s winning time in Delaware H. was a brisk 2:01.15. That’s nearly a second faster than Royal Delta’s 2013 winning time of 2:02.04, and over two seconds faster than her 2012 winning time of 2:03.51. In fact, you have to go back to Coup de Fusil’s track-record-setting win in 1987 to find a faster Delaware H. win that Belle Gallantey‘s.
As eye-catching as that win was, Belle Gallantey’s next victory, in the G1 Beldame at Belmont, was even more impressive. Ortiz again put Belle Gallantey on the lead, and the big mare did the rest. Belle Gallantey carved out a legitimate half in :47 2/5, easily turned back the challenge of the G1 Alabama S. winner Stopchargingmaria in upper stretch, and opened up at will to prevail by 8 1/4 lengths.
Belle Gallantey‘s time of 1:47.55 in the Beldame was the fastest in 16 years, and was well over a second faster than recent winners Royal Delta (1:48.80), Havre de Grace (1:49.39), Life at Ten (1:49.29), etc. Her winning Beyer of 103, meanwhile, was one of the best on the year for a filly or mare.
Belle Gallantey is now entered at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale as Hip 171, and it doesn’t take much imagination to dream up what this fast, durable, beautiful mare might be capable of on the track or in the breeding shed in future years.